Belmont Club

Game Over. Play Again?

Liz Peek at the Fiscal Times explains why the Republicans might fail to get voters interested in repealing Obamacare, despite its unpopularity. “What ever happened to Obamacare — the unpopular healthcare bill that was to be the Republicans big weapon as they battled for control of the Senate this fall? For sure, the Affordable Care Act has been pushed to the sidelines by the chaos in Iraq, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the surge in Central American minors across our border, the Veterans Administration scandal, the pestilential virus rampaging across the computers of the federal government, and so much more…”

What happened to it was it got buried by Snowden, ISIS, the IRS, Benghazi, Ebola, Syria, Libya, Ferguson, Bergdahl, etc … who can spare a thought for Obamacare? The Obama administration is living proof that the Dense Pack strategy works.  If your problems come fast enough, you start living hour to hour and the newest crisis drives out all thoughts of the last.

According to the Dense Pack strategy, a series of ten to twelve hardened silos would be grouped closely together in a line. This line of silos would generally run north-to-south, as the primary flight path for Soviet inbound nuclear missiles would be expected to come from the north over the North Pole. The rationale for this thinking went like this: As the first inbound warhead detonates over its target silo, it would throw a large cloud of debris over the entire missile field. Every other warhead targeted on that missile field would have to travel through that debris cloud to reach its target, and it was theorized that the act of traveling through that debris cloud would “trash” the warhead before it could detonate. Every successful explosion over the missile field would throw more debris up into the air, increasing the chances that each successive warhead would be destroyed before it could trigger.

A suit shows up raindrops only when some of it is dry. But a soaking wet suit is uniformly changed in color.

The price for Dense Pack is letting it happen. The problems are coming too quickly for Obama to even perfunctorily address them. You may recall the Space Invaders video game. Once the bad guys get the jump on you, there’s no catching up. Like Space Invaders, the problems are now all over Barack Obama. He’s been criticized for hunkering down in Martha’s Vineyard but consider:  what difference does it make if he stays in Martha’s Vineyard to play golf or attempts to engage the crisis du jour.  There’ll be another along tomorrow of equal or worse importance.

Should Obama go to Ferguson? What good would that do?  The decapitation of American journalist Jim Foley by ISIS is a case in point.  Obama “called and spoke with the parents on Wednesday, the same day he held a news conference in which he vowed a ‘relentless’ effort to stop ISIS.”

You mean like the way he vowed to bring justice to the perpetrators of Benghazi or the wrath that would descend on Assad? Or maybe he meant his efforts to #bringbackourgirls — the hundreds of schoolgirls kidnapped by the Boko Haram?  He means his vow as much as he meant the others. They got dense packed too.

The problem with crediting any vow to avenge Jim Foley is that by this time next week Foley’s gruesome murder will have been replaced not once, but possibly twice in the news cycle by new scandals. And then it will be “oh that Jim Foley”. In the immortal words of NSC staffer Tommy Vietor: “dude, it (Benghazi) was like two years ago.”  How long till Jim Foley becomes history?

Thus, anyone who tries to focus on a particular Obama administration issue will find that it won’t stay put. It’s like being blasted by a Claymore mine. Once you get past counting the 50th wound, you can’t remember where the first one was.

Thus, the opponents of Obamacare would be best advised to forget focusing their fire on any individual problem and focus instead on Obama. He’s the common factor in all the dozens and hundreds of crises his administration faces. This is probably happening already whether or not the Republicans intended it. Democratic pollsters argue that people don’t dislike Obamacare for any specific reason they can name, but because they hate Obama. They put this down to bigotry or racism, but although they see the problem they don’t interpret it correctly.

There’s a simpler explanation. They’ve realized their problems are not with the individual missiles but with the fact that the Soviets are launching a thousand ICBM strike on North Dakota. They ‘get it’. The Democratic pollsters don’t.

The Obama “brand” is seriously damaged. It may be that the president is doing some good in some cases. Or perhaps his style of governance is improving, but that will now be ignored. He will get no credit for it any more. He seems to have stopped being an effective president long ago.

That’s good news for America’s enemies and bad news for America.

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